Media Contacts: Kelly Adamson / 513-470-1379 / [email protected]     or Claire Muenchen / 513-295-2275  /  [email protected]

For Immediate Release: September 23, 2021


The favorite neighborhood tradition returns in a new season with a focus on outdoors-for-all, sustainability and raising funds for the OTR Chamber, operating in its 36th year

CINCINNATI, OH - The OTR 5K run/walk, the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood’s oldest  such event, will return October 2nd for the 14th year. The 5K, which is occurring in the fall season for the first time, is presented by the OTR Chamber, OTR YMCA, and Taste of Belgium. Last year’s race was cancelled for the first time since the event’s inception, due to safety concerns related to the covid-19 pandemic.
While the racecourse is the same, what participants will see along the way will have dramatically changed. Since the race was last run in May 2019, over 90 small business storefronts have opened in the Over-the-Rhine and Pendleton neighborhoods. Event partners also reflect new businesses who are “coming soon” to the OTR neighborhood, including MadTree Brewing, and Soul Secrets Catering, both of which are slated to open on Vine Street in the coming months.
The route, which winds throughout the whole OTR neighborhood, concludes with a post-party in Washington Park until 2:00pm. That event will feature live music, yard games courtesy of the Cincinnati Public Library and Play Library, and a “shop-small” vendor market. Multiple local food vendors will also be present and visitors and participants alike are encouraged to B.Y.O.B (“Bring Your Own Blanket”) to enjoy a fall afternoon picnic in the park.
New to the event this year is a partnership with MadTree and Responsible Products to take the first step towards “greening” the OTR 5K, with compostable water cups. Outdoors-for-all vendors will also be present in Washington Park for the event, including the Cincinnati Nature Center, Tri-State Trails and Adventure Crew.
“We are using this opportunity to take more steps toward our organization being an environmental steward and to inspire and educate those who live in Cincinnati’s urban core to do the same,” said Kelly Adamson, the Executive Director of the OTR Chamber of Commerce. “Shopping small doesn’t just drive our local economy -- it also reduces our carbon footprint, so it’s important that we continue to expand on that when and where we can.”
The event is an annual fundraiser for the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce, which has been in operation since 1985. In the past year, the OTR Chamber granted over $475,000 in small business relief grants, and was the creator of Cincinnati’s first official Small Business Week. The organization has also been instrumental in increasing the number of black and minority-owned businesses in OTR by more than 75% in the past three years and now has a grant partnership with Main Street Ventures, focusing on supporting minority business growth.  Reflecting on the organization's 36 year history, Adamson shared “It is truly incredible and humbling to see how the OTR Chamber has transformed into becoming a leader in economic inclusion, and a trusted resource for all.”
Event Details:  Saturday, October 2nd,  Washington Park, 1230 Elm Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202. All information can be found at
Registration   Includes:  Race timing, OTR 5K t-shirt, Taste of Belgium waffle, Deeper Roots coffee, a drink ticket for your choice of beer, seltzer, soda, or water and option for on-site bag drop (comes with a OTR 5k drawstring bag!). New this year is the option to tie-dye your OTR 5K tee. Top finishers will be awarded the highly coveted Rookwood Pottery medals. The cost of the race is $35 until September 26th and then $40 through race day. Register at
Donations:  Donations to the OTR Chamber are encouraged and can be done through this  link .
Kids Race:  The OTR 5K Kids Race, presented by Taste of Belgium, follows the 5k at 10:30am in the south lawn of Washington Park. For ages five and under, there is a “quarter-mile” run; for ages six to nine a “half-mile” run. Registration is $10. Register at
Packet-Pickup:  Participants are encouraged to pick up their race packets prior to race day at the Central Parkway YMCA, during select times on Thursday September 30th or Friday October 1st.
Day of Registration and Packet Pickup:  Opens at 7:30am and closes promptly at 8:45am, in Washington Park.
Entertainment Schedule:
  • 9:30am - 10:30am Cincy Black Brass
  • 11:00am - 12:00pm Aprina's Revolutionary Love
  • 12:30pm - 2:00pm DJ Rah D
The OTR 5K is presented by the OTR Chamber, with presenting sponsors OTR YMCA and Taste of Belgium. Event “Impact Sponsors'' are: 3CDC, Agar, Eagle Realty Group, the George & Margaret McClane Foundation, The Hubert Family Foundation, The Johnson Foundation, Model Group, P&G and Urban Sites. Event “Innovator Sponsors'' are: Deloitte, Haile Foundation, and KeyBank. Event “Supporting Sponsors'' are: Bartlett, City Studios, GBBN, Graydon, Key Bank, KMK Law, O'Rourke, Rookwood Pottery, Stough Group, Uptown Arts, US Bank
Website: / Donation Page Link / Facebook: @otr5k  Facebook Event Link / Instagram: @otr5k
The OTR Chamber of Commerce has provided support to OTR's small business district since the very beginning, being a guide and resource for small businesses to create the OTR we know and love today. Since 1985, the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce has represented its members and the community with a mission to be the driving force for creating a strong economy while also promoting inclusivity, embracing diversity and celebrating originality. Our vision is for Over-the-Rhine to be a model neighborhood for inclusive urban revitalization.
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